Sunday Classic / Feel the Tarpon Burn

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Tarpon battle scars. Photo By: Louis Cahill

The first step in landing a big tarpon is getting a really good hook set. If your hook fails to penetrate the hard boney mouth of the tarpon, it almost always will be spit out after the first or second jump. My previous trip to the Florida Keys I experienced just that, walking away with a 0-2 record, all because my hook-sets were piss poor. I wasn’t hitting them hard enough after the eat, and I made a pledge after that trip, that the next time I got a big tarpon to eat, I’d focus 100% solely on making sure my hook set was absolutely perfect. Believe me when I say, it’s humiliating as hell having a guide stare you down after you blow a hook-set. It makes you want to go find a hole to crawl off into.

When Capt. Bruce Chard put me on the biggest tarpon of my life during my latest trip, I set the hook hard and held onto the fly line as long as I could. Come hell or high water, I was going to get that hook completely buried in the tarpons mouth. Low and behold, I accomplished just that, and I ended up landing that mighty tarpon, but I got this nice fly line burn in the process. It was all worth it in the end though, because for the next two weeks as the bilsters healed, I was reminded of my victorious catch everytime I looked down at my hand.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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7 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Feel the Tarpon Burn

  1. Very cool Kent. My latest tarpon trip was beset with weak hook sets brought on by trout fishing muscle memory. What makes you a good trout fisherman in that phase of skill plagues you on the tarpon flats. I am Exhibit A.

  2. I am so glad that you got a battle wound. It is only appropriate for the PETA people to understand the fish hurt you in the process. Glad you had a great time.

  3. Regarding line boo-boo’s;
    Flex Wrap self adhesive fabric tape. I’ve been using it for a few years now. Lasts all day and is way less cumbersome than gloves. A few wraps on the index and middle fingers and you’re good to go!
    Salt water is extremely corrosive and just stripping line all day can give you a decent, painful groove in your digits 😉

  4. Nice battle scars! Ol’ Capt. Chard is a rock star! Been fishing with him for about ten years now. If there’s fish, he finds em.

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